Posts Tagged ‘Persons with Disability’


Nominations for the 2017 Apolinario Mabini Awards has been extended to April 30

March 16, 2017

Nominations for the 2017 Apolinario Mabini Awards has been extended to April 30, 2017.  Categories for nomination are:  Presidential A. Mabini Award, Person With Disability (PWD) of the Year, PWD Group of the Year, Local Government Unit of the Year, Rehabilitation Volunteer/Group of the Year (Volunteer/Group Advocate for the Empowerment of PWDs of the Year), Employer of the Year, PWD Friendly Establishment (deadline March 31, 2017), PWD Media Advocate of the Year, and the Website Accessibility Award. Anyone can nominate individuals or groups to any category provided they meet the criteria.

The Mabini Awards, named after one of the country’s foremost hero,  Apolinario Mabini, recognizes individuals, groups and/or agencies that have made outstanding contributions to improve the welfare of Persons With Disability.   The award is inspired by Mabini’s creative genius that provided inspiration to the Philippine revolution.

The Award is spearheaded by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled  (PFRD), the oldest non-government organization in the Philippines  to address needs of Persons with Disability.

The awards will be presented in July 2017  in Malacanang Palace. The exact date will be announced later.

Please visit  for more information and to download forms.

You may also call Liza  at (632) 725-0093 or email for more information.


Walking with Nameless and Countless Angels with Autism

February 16, 2017

February 5, Sunday. The annual gathering of Autism Advocates and Angels with Autism was held once again at Mall of Asia in Pasay  City in celebration of the 2017 Autism Consciousness Month. It should have been held in January but with the holding of the Miss Universe Pageant at the same place where the program had to be done, the event moved to February.

I was there for the nth time to witness the ever-growing number of people joining the event each year. I focused my camera on ordinary people, on those without whose presence and support, the activity would not be that awesome and meaningful. From far and wide they excitedly came, and heeded the call to be there in solidarity with the advocacy of Autism Society Philippines. Even Persons with Disability [PWDs] joined the special celebration.

The 2017 Angels Walk for Autism


A Touching Adoption Story of a Child with Special Needs

November 3, 2016

Sharing with you a video that made me teary-eyed but happy. This is about a child with no limbs adopted by an American family who came all the way to the Philippines to fetch her. For the first time ever, I clicked “like” on youtube.

A story of love, yes!!!…unconditional love! I am sooooo happy for this girl, and very grateful to the family who adopted her.

May she grow up to be like Nicholas James Vujicic, a very inspiring person, without limbs like this girl, but who can easily put to shame those who call themselves abled for being courageous in overcoming his difficulties, living a wonderful life as a great inspiration to Persons with Disability and non-PWDs alike.


Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover_PWDs Can! – Paralympic Games 2016

September 21, 2015

Yes!!! The amazing feat of Powerlifter Luicano Santas, amputee sprinter Vincius Rodriguez, and blind jodoka Lucia Teixeira who strolled into the gym, and were filmed by hidden cameras did astound the regular gym goers with their sporting prowess in a Brazilian training centre.

A room full of male judoka fighters looked particularly apprehensive as Teixeira began subduing each opponent.

“She beat everybody,” one man said. “At first they didn’t want to fight her.
“Then in the end, they really didn’t want to fight her.”

So! Don’t judge a book by its cover. Persons with disability [PWDs] each have their own uniqueness which non-abled people may not or can not do. Respect them!

This is in promotion of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero, which began on September 7 2016.


KIDS THREE 21 To Receive We Care Filmfest Award in India

September 9, 2015

Last Sunday, I received an email from We Care Film Festival Director Satish Kapoor of New Delhi, India that KIDS THREE 21, was chosen to receive an award under the 60-minute category. It is a documentary film on Down Syndrome that I made for my niece, Eleanor Dominguez, then UP M.A. student of Sped Education. The news came in as a surprise.


Scenes from KIDS THREE 21

The docu features geneticist Dr. Carmencita Padilla and nutritionist-dietician Eleanor. It gives the audience an overview of Trisomy 21 or what Down Syndrome is, the maternal risks involved, the plight of parents, and the realities of having a Child with Down Syndrome. A segment focuses on the importance of nutrition awareness and intervention – an element oftentimes neglected because of the conventional stress and attention given to physical and occupational therapies and special education.

Dr. Padilla and Yeye

Nutritionist-Dietician Eleanor Dominguez and Geneticist Dr. Carmencita Padilla, now UP Manila Chancellor

We Care Film festival is aimed at creating awareness about disability issues through the medium of films and to foster integration in society by spreading the message of ability. The festival also aims at giving a fillip to the rights-based approach where persons with disability are considered persons first. We Care strives to remove the myths, misconceptions, prejudices, and stereotypes about disabled and disability among society through the medium of films. They have demonstrated that short films and documentaries are a powerful medium for educating the public promoting a new approach to disability which guarantees equal rights, opportunities and equal access.

Last but not least, acceptance level of community at large has increased towards persons with disability as a result of We Care Film Festival. Being a powerful medium, these films … proved that psychological acceptance comes much before physical acceptance and which is the first step towards inclusive society. [Click to read the full article about The IMPACT of WE CARE Film Fest]

Jury was headed by Mr. Lov Verma (Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Government of India), Mr. CK Khaitan (Joint Secretary & CEO, National Trust of the Govt Of India), Mrs. Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman (Director, United Nations Information Centre, India and Bhutan), Prof. Ashok Ogra, Director, Apeejay Institute of Mass Communicatiion,Dr. Rajeev Lochan (Director, National Gallery of Modern Art), Mr. Anwar Jamal (National award winning film director), Mr. BrIj Bakshi, (former Addl Director General, Doordarshan) and Mr. Deepak Parvatiyar– Satish Kapoor – See more at:

According to Mr. Kapoor, the Award ceremony of the 12th Edition of We Care Film Festival will be held on TUESDAY, 29 September 2015 at the Auditorium of the Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication, Institutional Area, Sector 8, Dwarka, New Delhi at 11.00 am.

Last year 2014, Ronald Lim wrote an article about it: With Down, But Not Out

To see the photos when shown during the Cellebration of Down Syndrome Month in 2013, click KIDS Three 21 Premiered at the UP Film Center.


Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Move_Men on Wheelchair

May 9, 2015

Literally, on the Move — these two people are miles away –Manila and New York City — yet they surely share and practice the philosophy of independent living… They do not confine themselves in the comfort of their homes, nor in their shells. Afterall, they are part of us, and should be treated like anyone else in an enabling society.

On the Move 2

This is Abner Manlapaz. I first met him in an Indignation rally of Persons with Disability [PWD] demanding the government to respect the rights due to them. He is the President of Independent Living Foundation. He is one of the participants in the docu that I am currently doing on Apolinario Mabini, our hero who himself was a PWD. Mabini was the Prime Minister, First Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chief Adviser of Emilio Aguinaldo, the First President of the Philippine Republic in 1898. This photo was shot at Mall of Asia, Pasay City in Metro Manila where Autism Walk was held a couple of years back.

On the Move

I do not know this man. But he caught my attention because in the crowd, he was the only one going around on wheelchair. And since I advocate for PWDs, I felt quite happy for him because he could move like anyone else around him. This was shot in Times Square St., New York City.

Great coincidence!!! I just realized now that aside from being on wheelchairs, look at what they are wearing! Red t-shirt and blue jeans; both wear eyeglasses, and their heads?? Aren’t they nearly the same?

The Non-Handicapping Environment is a must in all places in the world. Here in our country, NHE has been introduced but the idea should ripple around, especially in Southeast Asia where PWDs should be given as much importance, priority and equality as any of the so-called abled individuals. They should be given opportunities, chances to prove their ability and capacity, and the right to co-exist with others.


TUM TUM – Savant Person with Autism Gave Final Nod to Score Music of Project Mabini

May 7, 2015

Day before yesterday, I met TumTum Mendoza and his Mom Belina in Quezon City. TumTum is a person with autism [PWA] gifted with musical genius. He is a savant PWA. TumTum, when asked by Mom Belina if he can, and really wants to take up the challenge of doing the film scoring work for the docu on Mabini replied “Yes!”

TumTum Watches Rizal

TumTum Intently Watches My Docu on Rizal Scored by His Art Studies Teacher Roselle Pineda and JM Diego

He has no background in film music scoring. That I know. And that alone makes me as excited as his mother. The risk is there…but I am very much willing to take the risk of giving him the opportunity to do the job. Afterall, that is part of my personal advocacy: to let the world know through my films what these people, or PWDs can do. We will never know what TumTum can do beyond just the masterful playing of the marimba if opportunities are not given to him, and others in the sector. In this project, he will have freedom to explore on the use of several instruments to create the music he deems appropriate for the scenes and graphic elements used.


I last saw TumTum in 2011 when he performed during the celebrations of World Autism Day

Diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 1/2, TumTum played the marimba at the age of 5. At the age of 8, he was presented as a gifted child prodigy by the University of the Philippines through its President’s Committee on Culture and the Arts. International artist at an early age of 11, he was a Rosemary Kennedy International Young Soloist Awardee in 2001, and was invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He graduated from the UP Conservatory of Music major in percussion. Snippets of his performance when he was six years old are in my docu on autism ALYANA.

This is TumTum’s first time to film score; but there are many other first-timers in Project Mabini as I’ve earlier written in my blog posts: Abner Manlapaz, a person who like Mabini was paralyzed due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome based on the latest research findings on the cause of Mabini’s paralysis, some of the Deaf play performers who interpreted Mabini’s Decalogo, and the narrator Cris Lorenzana, an inspirational speaker with radio program at DZXL.

The docus [now in the making] about our hero Mabini, an icon to persons with disability show a person who performed excellently despite his disability. I believe it is but proper to include PWDs in the making of The Sublime Paralytic [English] / Pule: Utak ng Rebolusyon [Filipino] to also show their abilities — THISability not DISability should shine.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Convergence with a Cause

November 30, 2014

Two different times.
Two different angles.
Two different events.
In one convergent point. With one and the same purpose.
Respect persons with autism!
Respect persons with disability!
Respect Human Rights!

ADVOC_Convergence WIde

Celebration of Autism Consciousness Week led by Autism Society Philippines [ASP]


Celebration of International Day of Persons with Disability

The events were both held at SM Mall of Asia. ASP annually celebrates Autism Consciousness Week every 3rd week of January; all PWD groups including ASP celebrate the International Day of PWDs usually on the first week of December. By now, preparations are being readied for the coming celebrations.



But Who is Perfect? / PWD Mannequins

December 8, 2013

Mannequins modeled by actual persons with physical disability were given attention by a man brave enough to have them get displayed and be showcased…

To read more about it, please click Disabled Fashion Mannequins